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  1. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Stone Armor

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rassidan, Sep 15, 2011.

    Assuming that a set of stone armor could be crafted and worn by a person do you think it would offer more protection than metal armor? I would imagine that when struck with a hammer it would still offer little protection but from swords and spears I would have to imagine it would offer great protection with the added bonus of causing the blase to become chipped and dull from repeated strikes. But this is just how I think it would work. Any other ideas on how such a armor type would function.
     
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  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't try to swim in it.
     
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  3. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    It would be impossibly heavy. If you look at the history of armour it was a constant balancing act between weight and prorection. Stone would have been totally and utterly impractical.
     
  4. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Impractical yes but if it were used as an armor how would you imagine it would function. This is assuming weight is not a factor. Mostly I am wondering how people would think it would take blows from weapons. In a fantasy setting I would imagine you could make anything become practical, even this. Thus how would you imagine it would react to weapons striking it.

    Lol, very true and I actually overlooked something so obvious.
     
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    You would have to imagine some very lightweight stone. Somethiing like pumice - but I don't know how strong that would be. Even in the world of fantasy, you've got to convince your reader your world is plausible. Stone is very, very heavy. So you've either got to find a lightweight stone, or reduce gravity.
     
  6. Yandos
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    Yandos Member

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    The only way I could imagine any kind of stone orientated armour would be some kind of slate like stone, scale mail. This is the only way I can think of having any ease of movement wearing it. But any type of stone that could be used in this way would very likely shatter as there is no give in it,
     
  7. Bodhisattva
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    The quality of armour depends on two things: maneuverability and defence. Stone armour would offer crap maneuverability, it's incredibly heavy and the different parts of the armour would scrape against each other with movement. While it would provide the ultimate defence, (edged weapons would be pretty much useless against it) armour ain't no good if you can't move inside it.

    You also have to answer the question of making it. Is it carved? If so, this would take much longer to make than a regular suit of armour. Why would the craftsman bother to spend ages fashioning impractical and difficult to use equipment when he could make regular stuff in a quarter of the time.

    As you can probably tell, I'm advising against using it at all. There are plenty of other cool kinds of armour, stone is taking it a little too far.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think the idea of stone armor makes much sense, and I wouldn't buy it in a fantasy story unless there were given a rationale as to how and why it functions. As noted, it is going to be heavy. If you go with thin plates of it, they're going to shatter, shear, fracture, or whatever.

    Stone was around along time before metal armor appeared, and there's a reason people didn't adapt it for use as armor.

    I guess maybe you could sew thin slabs of stone in between leather or something, for some extra protection. Don't know. I don't like the idea, personally.
     
  9. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Yea, my thoughts about it go along with Steerpike's. I could see stone being used like the current day SAPI plates in flak jackets, just a small plate you place in a pouch. Might provide some protection or resistance, but not sure how the weight would play into it. Stone is heavy, but if it was resistant enough and light enough for ease of use, I could see a person carrying one or two plates on their body, maybe enough to cover a small portion of their chest and back. Definitely not covering the entire body.

    The big difference to me (other than weight) is that stone also chips, shatters, fractures and so on and metal doesn't (as easily), and these chips, fragments, what-have-you could also be just as deadly to the armor wearer as their opponent's weapons, which is why I don't know if plates would work unless they put them into pouches or vest-type inserts ... still they could fracture and poke holes in the wearer. :)
     
  10. Alex W
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    Stone is a terrible armour, unless the person wearing it is either incredibly strong or 'superhuman', it would be too heavy. For small plate there are better options out there, and there is one big problem with it.

    Stone will break with repeated blows from a dull object, hence mining/digging work involves often breaking stone with heavy blunt instruments, although of course in this day and age it's now machinery and other new gadgets for the most part. But yeah, the armour if attacked by lets say a large two handed axe, there's a high chance of the rock crumbling and falling apart after repeated blows of sufficient force.

    I think you've gone the wrong way with this, if you're going to use create a new kind of stone then it could work, but i'm doubtful. Can I suggest you change it? In my book that i'm writing now, my Pagan Hunter is gifted a breastplate of very strong earth, from deep below the ground that's given by the Celtic God of Forestry. Perhaps going with some sort of 'earth' armour rather than stone could work?

    There's alot of rock to the middle of the planet, and it's not unplausible that you could create an idea of some stone/earth that could be fashioned with enough skill to be very effective armour. Just my opinion of course chap, if you can get it to work then fair play.
     
  11. Mr Mr
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    If it was layers or plated sheets of rock that might be feasable but solid rock wouldn't work. You could make up some special rock native your world thats light and hard.

    It also depends on whos wearing it. If you said a giant or a troll was wearing armour made of stone its alot more believable than a human wearing it.
     
  12. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Actually I was hoping that the stone would fragment on impact. As the entire premise is based on the stone fragmenting. My intention was to magically enhance the stone as to allow it to recombine with itself thus negating the possibility of just chipping away at the stone. I am not sure what type of rock I want to use but in theory even if it was a thin layer it should still negate most bladed weapons.

    I have yet to figure out a way to account for the weight of the armor itself unless I seriously use magic to ease the burden of the armor on the user, which I may do anyways. I have also considered using some sort of tech as a skeleton for the armor but I am less fond of this idea. The armor was not intended to be plated but more or less held together through magic itself so you could have any number of different sized rocks kind of molded into one armor. This also allows for greater movement as smaller rocks would be located near the joints.

    I am not sure whether or not I will use a unknown rock to negate some of the weight and strength issues that seem be the main concern that keeps being brought up. The idea is still in the works though and I am glad that I keep seeing people say it would make great protection while the issue of weight would have to be dealt with and that is no surprise.
     
  13. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Actually I chose the most unbelievable of races, the elves. I am not concerned with this as they are not the common elf you would think of anyways. Yet they still fall into that "human" catagory. They serve a purpose in my story and trolls are just not one of the races I chose to use. I chose a bunch of unconventional races just for this purpose and as usual have decided to gut the elves turn them into something else other than squishy nature lovers. Never liked that overdone concept.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    So here is my question when it comes to these sorts of uses of magic (and I agree that using magic to address the deficiencies of the stone armor is a possible solution):

    Generally, magic has a cost associated with it. It takes power, training, or what have you to cast. It may take time and additional power to maintain. Depending on how harsh a magic system you have, it can even take a toll on the caster. So if you're going to resort to magic as a means of overcoming the deficiency of stone armor (i.e. make it reform when broken and make it lighter), the first question that comes to mind is "why bother?" Why go through all that trouble instead of just using some other material, like metal? And it may be that you have a good answer to it, but in general if something would take a lot of time and magical energy/power to maintain and there are comparable mundane choices, you have to answer why anyone in the society would opt for the more complicated magic route.
     
  15. Alex W
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    I admire your determination with this, but I can't see it working. If your armour is to reform then presumably the bits of stone being chipped away would fly back into the armour? Which seems a little ridiculous. Realise it's a fantasy style thing so not looking for all that much realism, but it doesn't strike me as a good idea.

    If the armour is held together by magic, it seems like a waste of that magic, as stone armour would be strong verse blades but surely there would still be gaps in the armour and heavy weapons would smash right through it if it's only a layer. You'd have to have a 'Golem' type armour for the regeneration to work, imo, and even then it would take some explaining. Magic put to use with a better armour would seem a better alternative, so unless your user for this armour isn't a particularly important/strong figure, surely they'd go for a better and more effective armour? If it's an enemy then I can see it working without the magic, but otherwise i'm unsure.

    Perhaps living stone then if you're still wanting the stone? But then stone can't grow, and reforming it by magic would require either the chipped rock to fly back into the armour, or new stone to just 'form', which seems a little cheap. Not meaning to have a go here mate, just trying to put my thoughts forward. Feel free to tell me to feck off if you think i'm being too judgemental lol :)
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Also, Rassidan, I suppose it matters what kind of story you are writing. If I were reading most fantasies, I'd really think stone armor was strange and made no sense. On the other hand, if I were reading something set in Forgotten Realms, for example (unlikely, because I don't like FR at all), and someone showed up in stone armor, I wouldn't even bat an eye. It's freakin' Forgotten Realms - nothing makes sense :D

    So if you're going for that sort of D&D style fantasy, you can probably get away with putting stone armor on anything you want with little or not explanation. If you were writing something more along the lines of the works of GRR Martin or Joe Abercrombie, I think using stone armor would make the reader throw the book at the wall. And then other stories fall on some continuum in between those.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pumice is light but crumbly. There are different minerals that would have different properties, like thin sheets of mica (not very durable) or obsidian (glassy and brittle, but still heavy). I can't think of any that would make good armor, but you could hypothesize a tough, lightweight, fibrous mineral that can be shaped into overlapping plates.

    Stone does not have to be granite or slate, after all.
     
  18. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I agree with the others, if not more so. Stone, e.g. granite is incredibly heavy and because it doesn't give, brittle. In order to make it not shatter when hit with a hammer or similar, it would have to be incredibly thick. Think of a kitchen counter top. If it was that thick, say an inch deep, your MC would be hauling around easily five hundred pounds of armour. He'd have difficulty even standing up. But there's another problem with it, how do you shape it to fit? Metals you can heat and beat, stone you'd practically have to turn to magma and pour into molds, unless of course you want to carve it like a statue. That of course would require an artisan a lot of weeks of work.

    If you do decide on a stone, better try a magical one. Besides don't elves traditionally use the magic metal mithril?

    Cheers.
     
  19. JackElliott
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    JackElliott Senior Member

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    Seems like a lot of work to make a primitive idea sound plausible. I think you'd be better of just making something up rather than jump through hoops making this clunky idea work.
     
  20. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If its intended for a human or human like race to wear this armor then no I think it be to heavy and well not much use.

    However if the armor belongs to a race/creature thats far stronger and maybe larger then most then I can see some stone like armor working.
     
  21. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    While I enjoy D&D styled fantasies it is not really what I am going for. So this makes me really want to change the idea. So what about ceramic armor? I don't know much about it other than it is supposed to be heavy.
     
  22. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Hmm I don't want my story to D&D styled at all. So the question is what about ceramic armor?
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ceramics are a different matter. There are many high tech components made from ceramics, which can be very tough and lightweight. However, I don't know if I'd buy into such ceramics in a setting in the past.
     
  24. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Actually the setting is not the past but more of a post apocalyptic future setting. But would ceramics resist penetration from a spear or sword? I know they are used in bullet proof vests as plates but beyond that I have no idea how they would function.
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are also used in high speed turbines. The space shuttle used special ceranic tiles for its reentry shielding.

    Depending on the ceramic, they can be quite impact-resistant.
     

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